Come Thursday morning!
Dane Carr, represented by attorney Tracy Rain, is currently defending himself against nine tickets for sleeping/camping in Eureka. A jury has been seated, and the opening statements/ testimony/ evidentiary part of the trial begins tomorrow (Thursday, Dec 5th). 8:30am to 12:00pm, Courtroom #2, 2nd floor of the Humboldt County Courthouse
The City of Eureka is so worried about a defeat (through the necessity defense) of its law that criminalizes people for sleeping outside in Eureka when there is no other place to go, the City hired additional outside lawyers (from the Mitchell, Brisso, Delaney, Vrieze firm) to prosecute Dane, who is HOUSELESS.
Throughout every city/town in Humboldt County, there are similar laws to criminalize “camping” or sleeping. These laws, by international standards, along with the lack of running available water, toilets, and other life-sustaining amenities in Eureka (and throughout the County), violate peoples’ human and civil rights. On top of how freezing it is right now, can you imagine also having to worry about cops waking you up in the middle of the night!?
When police and housed residents (in denial) are confronted with the fact that there is no affordable housing or free places to sleep/camp, they will often say “People can go to the Mission” as if that is solution for the THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WITHOUT SHELTER. But, it’s not.
In addition to the fact that staying at the Eureka Rescue Mission means ending your activities at 5:30pm every day and being thrown onto the cold streets at 5:30am in the morning. In addition to the fact that people who drink alcohol cannot stay at the Mission, there is another rule of the Mission, perhaps the most egregious and exclusionary. As the guest editorial in today’s Times-Standard’s points out (see letter below), a person is REQUIRED to endure a religious sermon every night in order to eat or sleep at the Mission.
Additionally, the sermons are often denigrating to the people at the Mission, and the Mission is not “queer friendly.” (Not to mention, but I will, the current director of the Mission watched the police viciously beat Martin Cotton to death in 2007, and lied on behalf of the police. The police were later represented unsuccessfully by, none other than the Mitchell Brisso firm) The Eureka Rescue Mission is NOT available to all people, including Dane Carr- who does not drink, is not straight, and does not do Christianity.
Please come fill the courtroom and listen as the long-standing injustice of criminalizing sleep is battled out, this time, in the courtroom. Support Dane, Tracy, and all people who are stalked, hunted and punished for sleeping outside. Support the right to dignity and the right to survive.